Bokeh_Yeah! Film Narrative Session

I went along to the latest Bokeh_Yeah! session last night at Madlab on Edge Street in the Northern Quarter. Sadly I missed the last one on lighting so I was determined to make this one. I had a bit of a blonde moment when I arrived, wandering in to the building next door, heading up the stairs to the second floor thinking I’m sure it didn’t look like this last time, before I conceded that I had indeed made a mistake and I was in the wrong building. The sign for MadLab is quite discreet, just a small one by the door. I wandered out again and then headed through the right door and up the stairs grateful to see Adele and two new people who were not at the last session I went to. This session was on Film Narrative. Ra Page of Comma Press, led us very concisely through the Three Act Structure of Conflict, Escalation and Resolution, common devices such as the best friend and the false friend and the 7 story plots (some say 3, some say 8 ) which all dramatic films conform to, and which also apply to story writing. Having studied drama before, but not screenwriting, this technical analysis was very interesting to me. He also made it clear that it was incredibly difficult to write an original story which would keep an audience to the end because unconsciously the audience has a vast understanding and knowledge of stories and misleading tricks and devices, and if they can guess what will happen early on then you’ve lost them. Interestingly, he said, as humans we have an instinctive understanding of rhythm and will try to apply it even when it doesn’t exist.  The intention of this session, as with all the others, is that we make an original film using DSLR, so we have quite a challenge on our hands. We then spent some time viewing Letters Home, a short film in which Ra was involved, looking to identify and discuss plot structure and devices. I also found out about Comma Films at this session and a current project which invites film makers to create films for poems. There is a selection of poems which you can choose from and then request to make a film for. I’ve been wanting to make a poetry film for a while now, so it’s exciting to find out that this facility exists. We finished with the issuing of homework, we have been tasked to find locations to recreate the opening of a very famous film. We shall photograph them and then in the coming months go about filming and editing them into a piece. These are great interesting and inspiring sessions and I would encourage anyone with an interest in making films with DSLR cameras, and especially if you have your own kit, to come along. The next one is on Thurs 1st December 7-9pm. What I really like about MadLab’s ethos is that if you want to run any teaching sessions then you can have the teaching space for free if you run the classes for free, fabulous in a time when education is seen as a privilege rather than a right.

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